Quick Calamari Curry with Coconut Rice

Quick Calamari Curry with burst tomatoes and Indian spices is paired with an easy Coconut Rice that can be on your table in 30 minutes! You’ll want to liven up your weeknight menus with this healthy seafood curry recipe.

Quick Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice garnished with cilantro and toasted coconut on a bronze plate with a glass of white wine and print napkin.
Quick Calamari Curry over Coconut Rice

No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.

~~ Laurie Colwin

I relax in my kitchen. I laugh in my kitchen (usually with my sons). I create in my kitchen. The kitchen is my place to BE. 🙂

Over the years, friends have found it odd that I view that space in such a positive way. Whenever I travel, I am always happy to return to my own kitchen.

This week, I returned from a trip to San Antonio with my husband, and without our youngest son. He is beginning his program at the Culinary Institute of America in just a couple of weeks. This is a bittersweet time as we are once again empty-nesters. At any rate, after several nights away, I was happy to be back in my kitchen, and anxious to get to work finalizing this week’s post…

Our family loves calamari, and I have been “playing” with Quick Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice for awhile. Indian curries can be quite messy and time-consuming, but I wanted a dish that was simple and quick enough for a weeknight.

Fish/seafood seem to be a natural choice when time is a factor, and calamari is one of the quickest cooking. In fact, diligence is required when cooking calamari unless you like the taste and texture of an old boot! 😉 Once the calamari rings are added to the curry, you want it off the heat in 1-2 minutes.

Normally, I toast and grind whole spices for curry, but this is a flavorful substitute for weeknight cooking. Keep in mind, though, that it adds heat. If you’re not a fan of spicy food, you might wish to cut it back a bit.

This simple curry starts off much like the more complicated ones I make – fresh garlic, ginger, onion, black mustard seeds. My short cut is a red curry powder. This is a spice blend with a mixture of cumin, coriander, cardamom, and red chile.

A bronze ceramic plate of coconut rice and calamary curry on a wood background.

As with all quick dishes, mis en place is key. Gather all ingredients prior to cooking anything!

  • lemon – You’ll need both the zest and the juice.
  • red curry powder – I keep this red curry powder in my spice drawer. Madras curry powder is another good option. We’re going with Indian-inspired flavors, so choose accordingly. This is one recipe that I will actually use generic “curry powder.”
  • oil – You’ll need an oil with a relatively high smoke point. I like refined coconut oil for this dish.
  • fresh ginger – A jar of minced ginger is a great time saver, and I usually have one in my refrigerator. I also keep a big piece of ginger root in my freezer. I simply scrape the outer skin, and grate it with a microplane.
  • garlic
  • shallot or red onion
  • black mustard seeds
  • tiny tomatoes – Cherub, grape, cherry, etc. are all good options.
  • calamari – If you purchase whole calamari, you’ll need to cut it in strips. Calamari rings are great. I’m always excited to find small tentacles as they provide lots of texture to the dish.
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper

🔪 Cooking Instructions

  • Marinate the calamari – The calamari gets a 30 minutes soak in the zest and juice of a lemon, and a couple of teaspoons of red curry powder. It is added to the wok (or skillet) during the last minute or two of cooking.
  • Make the coconut rice – In a medium saucepan, heat coconut oil until sizzling but not smoking hot. Add rice. Stir to coat, and cook until fragrant. Add ginger and garlic. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes, before adding liquids, spices, and salt. Cover and reduce heat. Do not lift the lid. Cook 19 minutes.
  • While rice cooks, make the curry – Heat oil in a wok or skillet. Add ginger, garlic, and onion. Cook until shallots or onion are soft but not browned – about 2-3 minutes. Add black mustard seeds and tiny tomatoes. Stir. Cook until the seeds begin to pop and the tomatoes burst. Add the calamari in its marinade. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until the calamari turns white. Overcooking makes it tough!
  • To finish – Stir chopped cilantro into the coconut rice. Serve a scoop of rice alongside the curry, and garnish with additional chopped cilantro and toasted coconut as desired.

🍷 Pairing Suggestions

We like an off-dry fruity white wine with spicy food, such as a gewurtztraminer or riesling. While Quick Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice makes a great weeknight supper, it is exotic enough to impress company. Go ahead… be brave! Give it a try 🙂

If you’re more of a craft beer lover, I would suggest a farmhouse ale or saison.

If you are organized and focused, this quick calamari curry comes together in 30 minutes. You’ll love the unique (thought not authentic) Indian flavors. Pinky swear!

Signature in red and green with chiles and limes. Healthyish Latin cuisine.

Calamari Curry With Coconut Rice

A super quick and healthy Indian-style curry with calamari (squid) rings, burst tiny tomatoes and lots of fresh Indian flavor, served with a coconut rice with warm Indian spices…Dinner in 30 minutes or less!
5 from 4 votes

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 397 kcal

Ingredients
  

Calamari Curry

  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp. red curry powder - (see notes)
  • 1 lb. calamari - rings or cut in strips (marinate in curry and lemon)
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil - or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger - minced
  • 1 tsp. garlic - minced
  • 2 shallots - minced (or 1/2 red onion)
  • 2 tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 1 pint Cherub tomatoes - or similar
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Coconut Rice

  • 1 tsp. coconut oil - or olive oil
  • 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice
  • 2 tsp. fresh ginger - minced
  • 1 tsp. garlic - minced
  • 2 cups liquid - I do half lite coconut milk and half broth*
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves - chopped
  • unsweetened toasted coconut – garnish
  • cilantro leaves – garnish

Instructions

Calamari Curry

  • In a medium prep bowl, add the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Add the red curry powder (see note). Stir to combine. Add calamari. Stir again. Marinate 20-30 minutes. Start the Coconut Rice.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok or skillet. Add ginger, garlic, and onion. Cook until shallots or onion are soft but not browned – about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add black mustard seeds and tiny tomatoes. Stir. Cook until the seeds begin to pop and the tomatoes burst.
  • Add the calamari in its marinade. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes until the calamari turns white. Overcooking makes it tough!
  • Serve with coconut rice and garnish with cilantro.

Coconut Rice

  • In a medium saucepan, heat coconut oil until sizzling but not smoking hot. Add rice. Stir to coat, and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Add ginger and garlic. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Add liquids, spices, and salt. Cover and reduce heat. Do not lift the lid.
  • Cook 19 minutes. Turn the heat off.
  • Just prior to serving, stir in the chopped cilantro.
  • To serve sprinkle with coconut and additional cilantro leaves.

Notes

I do half lite coconut milk and half chicken or vegetable broth. Most jasmine and basmati rice packages do a 1:2 ratio of rice to liquid. You should check your package. If you want to shave a few calories, you can reduce the amount of coconut milk.
I specify 1/2 tsp. salt, but you always want to check for seasoning. My husband watches his sodium intake, so we tend to be conservative with the salt.
This is a great side dish with tandoori style grilled chicken, kabobs, etc.
This is NOT a fluffy rice dish…
Macronutrients (estimate from MyFitnessPal): 397 calories; 23 g protein; 33 g carbohydrates; 21 g fat. Estimate only!

Nutrition

Calories: 397kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 21g

NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or star rating! Email us with any questions: tamara@beyondmeresustenance.com

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